The Redemptorist Father Ferreol Girardey addresses the question of when one ought to pray. There is daily prayer, prayer on particular occasions, morning and night prayer, and constant prayer. In this post, we shall review his thoughts on daily prayer.
He writes: “We should pray to God every day, for we stand every day in need of God’s assistance, of God’s benefits both spiritual and corporal, otherwise our divine Saviour would not have taught it to us in His admirable prayer, the Our Father, in which He enjoins us to ask our Heavenly Father: ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ . . . For our daily prayer there is no special time prescribed, so that he who prays to God at any time during the day, would thereby satisfy his obligation towards God; this is the general rule.”
“Prayer is as necessary for our spiritual life, for the life of our soul, as breath and food are necessary for our body, as water is necessary for a fish. It is especially necessary when the life of our soul is in danger. As long as we are on earth we cannot escape temptation, and temptation is always more or less dangerous to the spiritual life of our soul. People are lost, not because they wish to be lost, nor because they lack the resolution to avoid sin, but because they neglect to pray when they are assailed by temptation. We are never more weak or more helpless, or more in need of God’s help, than when temptation to sin assails us. God will then surely help us, if we pray to Him for help; but if we do not pray then, we shall be left to our own weakness and easily yield to the temptation and fall into sin. However strong and persistent the temptation, we can surely overcome it, if we at once pray to God to help us, and persist in prayer until we have got rid of it, for prayer will obtain for us God’s grace, which will enable us to overcome temptation, as God Himself declared to St. Paul: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee’ (2 Cor 12:9).”
Quotations from Ferreol Girardey, Prayer: Its Necessity, Its Power, Its Conditions (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916).